Prejudice, compassion and indifference ATHENS 9.84

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On the occasion of the International Day of People with Disabilities, set for December 3 of each year, the National Confederation of People with Disabilities (ESAmeA) presented a survey conducted in collaboration with the GPO polling company on “Attitudes and perceptions on disability in Greece and the rights of people with disabilities, chronic diseases and their families ”, which took place from 14 to 21 November 2021 in a sample of 1,203 households in all regions of the country and its results paint a rather bleak picture of the daily life of people with disabilities, despite the good intentions shown by society as a whole, according to the responses to the survey.

More specifically, when asked about the attitude of citizens towards people with disabilities, to the question “Would you personally say that you feel uncomfortable or at ease when you meet a disabled person ? 14.2% say they feel “very uncomfortable” or “somewhat uncomfortable”, 28.6% “neither uncomfortable nor comfortable” while 57% “somewhat” or ” very comfortable “. This image, however, is reversed as soon as the questions become more personal.

For example, to the question “Whether you have children or not, would you like to tell us how comfortable you would feel if one of your children were in a relationship with a person with a disability / chronic illness?” »The percentage of citizens who feel” very “or” somewhat “uncomfortable reaches 24.2%, the percentage of citizens who” neither uncomfortable nor comfortable “reaches 32.3% while that the percentage of citizens who feel “quite” or “Very” easily drops to 32.6%.

Regarding the rights of people with disabilities, the majority of citizens say they are mostly poorly informed, as 56.6% say they know “not at all” or “little” on these issues.

Respectively, people with disabilities themselves declare that they do not know their rights at 37.5%. Citizens are also dissatisfied with the information and awareness-raising activities regarding the rights of people with disabilities and / or chronically ill and their families carried out by government agencies / services by an overwhelming majority of 83% (“not at all” ). a little”).

Regarding equality, not only for disability issues but also for “gender, age, racial or ethnic origin, religion and sexual orientation”, 78.1% of citizens believe that everyone does not enjoy the same treatment and the same rights, while only 20.8% answer “yes” and “probably yes” to the question. Interestingly, the percentages among people with disabilities are almost the same with 80.6% responding “no” or “probably no” and 18% “yes” or “probably yes”.

The question “how do you think people with disabilities and / or chronic illnesses are treated in Greece” is led by prejudice with 45.4%, followed by compassion / pity with 39.6%, indifference with 21.3%, the discomfort 20.9, 7.8%, the rejection 5.8%, and the “as a weight” with 6.3%. Only 5% respond “equally” and XNUMX% respond “with admiration”.

The main problem of accessibility for people with disabilities is recognized by 91.6% of city traffic and by 90.3% in public transport, with equally disappointing percentages for employment, education, culture and even public transport. health and social protection services.

In fact, the disabled people interviewed confirm that they have 88.2% access to public transport, 87.5% to urban traffic, 81.9% to employment, 75% to culture, 74.3% to health services. health and social protection and 68.1% in education.

However, it seems that with regard to the responsibilities of the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities, citizens throw the ball to the state since the question “Which of the following elements in your opinion are factors that prevent people with disabilities from living?” on an equal footing with other people? “71.3% answer” the insufficiency of state policies “while 56.6% see it as a factor contributing to” social prejudices “.

There is no shortage of 22.5% who consider “disability / chronic disease itself” to be the factor while only 12% recognize responsibilities in the relative and friendly environment.

The research results were presented at an online event by Antonis Papargiris, Scientific Director of the GPO, who, examining the ambiguities of the results between how citizens report they relate to people with disabilities, what they see as progress on rights. but also what is the real situation, he asked himself “why all these problems continue and exist? respond immediately after “let me stress that I personally believe that a large part of the answers we have presented today are dictated by political correctness.

“While recognizing the enormous challenges is a great achievement for the disability movement, there is still a long way to go.

“December 3 for the movement of organizations of people with disabilities, chronically ill and their families is a day of social protest, exercise of social control, is a day of rights” underlined the president of ESAmeA, Ioannis Vardakastanis, adding “of course we celebrate, but” All we celebrate is disability in the context of human diversity “.

Mr Vardakastanis called for vaccination as a responsible attitude, to protect all vulnerable citizens with disabilities or chronically ill. “Through the company, we draw our power, we do not have in our hands to close the switches, to stop the productive processes.

“We always want society to see people with disabilities as social protagonists, social activists and not beggars for public or private charity,” said Vardakastanis, explaining why research on people with disabilities and their attitudes is very important. society to them.

The research results were also commented on by Konstantinos Stefanidis, President of the National Accessibility Authority, Professor at the Department of Informatics at the University of Crete, Head of the Human-Machine Interaction Laboratory (HCI), Maria Gavouneli, president of the committee. at the Law Faculty of the National and Capodistrian University of Athens and Xenofontas Kontiadis, Professor of Public Law and Social Security Law at the Department of Public Administration at Panteion University and President of the Center for European Constitutional Law – Themistocles and Themistocles Foundation.

Source: RES-EAP


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